If only we can walk a bit farther…

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“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,” 2 Corinthians 1:8a-10

Shame. Intensity. The flood of emotions that can overtake a hurting heart and mind. It seems as if it will never stop. As if today, as if this moment, will never end.

It beckons and breaks a heart to be still no longer and rather seek refuge in scandalous acts of self deprecation motivated by emotions and escapism. It seems the only thing that could cut deep enough is flesh ripped open to start over again. A fresh start with fresh blood leaning upon the notion that once the cut, the wound, is opened…we can start again.

No longer at peace with ourselves, this desire to seek refuge in self-inflicted pain squelches out grace and peace, and seems to grasp at something far beyond our recognition. Unwilling to seek refuge in anything other than our own destruction, self-hatred breathes its lies into the hole of our hearts.

Although I have never used a knife to wound myself, years ago I would use my words and thoughts to slice my soul to shreds. Believing the lies that I was worthless and filled with self loathing, I wanted nothing more than to disappear. Or at least to make my emotions disappear. I couldn’t bear handling them one more day, one more second, one more hour.

I have great empathy for anyone struggling with mental illness. I have been there myself and am aware that all too easily I could fall into depression again. These types of illnesses are hallmarked by an intensity of emotions that cannot be fully understood unless you have felt them yourself. I remember wanting to and looking as if I wanted to crawl out of my body, filled with shame and hurt, and into a safe place…no matter what that meant. So many women I talk with who have attempted suicide did not want to die, they just want the pain to stop. And that is why I think the verses listed above from 2 Corinthians are so powerful.

Paul states not that he was possibly facing death, but rather he felt as if He was already sentenced to die. A man alive, walking dead. Nothing to me is more descriptive of living with overwhelming emotions than that of walking through life as if you are already dead, defeated, a helpless victim of the waves that would come on you as you fall deeper and deeper until you act out and drown. And as Christians we ask for what? Why must I be so miserable…

I feel Paul would say, “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”

So you consider death to be an appealing option. Or perhaps you are the dead walking. The world may have given up on you. You may have given up on yourself. You cannot save yourself, nor can someone else, these things are correct. But you can choose to access the One who can. God. The One and Only powerful enough to raise the dead. He has shown His deliverance powers before, and He will show them again.

If this is you today, if you are in this difficult place…I do not have a one stop shop cure for you. I do not promise you instant healing by simply reciting a verse, using some theoretical technique, or waving a magic wand. What I do want to tell you is not to give up. The cure for the broken heart is hope. Hope that is willing to step out in confident expectation that something better lies on the other side. You may need counseling, you may need medication, you may need a mentor, and a Bible Study, and hours of face-time on the floor with Jesus – my healing necessitated all of these and more. Is it work? Yes! Will it be difficult at times? Yes! Will it be worth it? YES!!!

The biggest lie Satan can sell you is that you are worthless and beyond help…that there is no hope and healing on the other side. He may have shrouded your eyes in such darkness that even the slightest bit of light burns or seems impossible to obtain. But please don’t give up sweet sister or brother. Seek out only the healing He has for you. Only the healing He can offer. He is still in the business of raising from the dead.

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Comments

  1. says

    I’m in such agreement with this post, Stephanie! I’m praying for anyone who reads these words who may be at a scary place. God is more than able to bring hope and healing!

  2. Kayla D Perkins says

    Every word of this was for me today. God is bringing me out of my mental prison, and I was the walking dead. When you said that women you have spoken to who attempted suicide said that they didn’t really want to die, they just wanted to pain to stop…that was me! I know this entry has helped so many, because it has certainly helped me! Continue to allow God to use you to help plant and water seeds of healing for the hurting. Thank you for being obedient in sharing your story and your life with those who are grasping for answers from God. I am one of them. Be blessed today and always!


    Kayla D Perkins

  3. says

    Stephanie, this is so true. I had an experience of how Satan wanted to keep me away from church and Bible study and told me continually that I was worthless. i believed him hook,line and sinker. One Sunday I looked at how I looked and was in tears. It was so hard for me to go into our small church to face people. All I wanted to do was run and hide. This is the ironic thing. I was wanting to do this afte my dad passed in 2009. Since reading your blog, I have to remind myself daily how God looks at me. Thanks for the reminder on this.

  4. Lin Wilson says

    Excellent post…so many can relate I think to this but hide that they have been through such dark times. This was me a couple of years ago…sometimes I get afraid that those intense emotions will rise up again in the future. But I hope not. I am trusting it was just a dark season in my life that God was able to get some deep deep issues worked out in my life. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. says

    I am all too familiar with exactly what you are writing. That was the way I described my life a few years ago. No longer do I experience the depths of depression like this, thanks to being saved by Jesus and doing a lot of the work you have described. Am I susceptible now? Yes, but not for long because, thankfully, I have our loving Savior to look to for all of my healing. Thanks Stephanie!

    • says

      That’s awesome girl. I’m also thankfully free from depression as of now but so thankful for what He allowed me to go through. Gives me empathy I would have never has otherwise 🙂

      • says

        That is incredibly true! I made a comment on our SLL FB page for you regarding the video you made. It didn’t link to your name. I am thankful and was blessed by it. I used to work in a similar position as you. Anyway, thank you for ask you do and are doing. I am quite sure God is smiling down on you. 🙂

  6. katy says

    although I have overcome many abusive situations in my life from the age of 6, depression and anxiety, mental hospital which I did not want to leave, diagnosis of borderline personality disorder yet highly functional I now have to endure judgement from my adult children.

  7. says

    This is simply wonderful, Stephanie. I know well the pain of depression and have learned that God is THE only way to heal. He is my “way, my truth, my light.” Thank you for this posy. -Katey

  8. says

    Loved your post today, Stephanie. The cure for the broken heart is hope; and needing “hours of face-time on the floor with Jesus”. Could not be more true for me today. Thank you for your inspiration!

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